Ramifications from the Newlands ball-tampering scandal and Cricket Australia’s (CA) response have broadened with the resignation of the experienced corporate leader Bob Every from the CA Board.
Every, who spent time in South Africa during the series, informed CA of his decision to quit on Friday, in the same week that the call was made to appoint Justin Langer as national team coach for four years despite the fact there are two reviews into the team and CA as a whole to be undertaken after the events of the Cape Town Test.
The commissioning of the Ethics Centre to conduct a review into the overall culture of CA, from the chairman David Peever down, is believed to have been a sore point. ESPNcricinfo revealed last week that the CA director Michelle Tredenick had to step aside from all discussions relating to the review as she is also on the board of the Ethics Centre, which carried out a hotly-debated review of the Australian Olympic Committee last year and was also central to the creation of the “Banking and Finance Oath” in 2012.
“Bob has served on the CA Board for more than two and a half years and has made a valuable contribution over that time,” Peever said. “Bob served on the MoU sub-committee for the most recent negotiations with the Australian Cricketers’ Association, CA’s Audit and Risk Committee, and was an active contributor to Board discussions. On behalf of Cricket Australia and Australian cricket, I thank him for his service and wish him well for the future.”
Every joined the Board alongside Tredenick in late 2015, after a lengthy corporate career that included roles as non-executive chairman of Wesfarmers, chairman of Boral Limited and Iluka Resources Limited, chief executive of Tubemakers, president of BHP Steel, and managing director and CEO of OneSteel Limited.
This experience made him by a distance the most accomplished corporate figure on the CA Board, making his voice one of the most respected among its nine members. Every’s links to cricket were also strong, via his close ties to the Sutherland Cricket Club in Sydney grade competition – having played more than 60 first-grade games, he remains the club’s patron.
Mark Taylor, the former Test captain and longtime CA director, was close to Every after the pair had become friends due to past corporate links. Taylor had previously indicated that he was unlikely to serve another term as a CA director after he was reappointed at last year’s AGM for a further three years, but following Channel Nine’s loss of the rights to broadcast cricket in Australia he has been touted as a possible chairman. How Every’s departure affects Taylor’s thinking remains to be seen.
Another area for concern about the reviews being conducted is the fact that the facilitator of the teams review, Peter Collins of the Centre for Ethical Leadership, is a longtime paid consultant of CA. Formerly with the management consulting firm McKinsey, Collins has worked closely with Sutherland in particular for many years, in addition to advising CA’s management team more generally. Still more significantly, Collins was also a mentor to Ricky Ponting during his early days as the national captain.
“Peter’s leadership consulting projects include work around sexual predatory behaviour in Victoria Police’s response to the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (VHREOC), in sport (including work with the national cricket and rugby union teams for more than 10 years) and advising boards and leadership teams on cultural issues,” the centre’s website states.
“He started his consulting career at McKinsey with a focus on organisational change and leadership, and has also worked in Federal Parliament for two cabinet ministers.”
Questions about how seriously and strongly the dual reviews of CA and the national team would investigate the culture of Australian cricket intensified after the chief executive Sutherland unveiled Langer as coach last week, under the premise that the coach needed to have input into the process.
Langer will duly serve on the review panel alongside its chairman Rick McCosker, the men’s Test captain Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, last summer’s stand-in women’s international captain Rachael Haynes, the former captain Shane Watson nominated by the Australian Cricketers Association, and the longtime Tasmania captain George Bailey.